Bryan Leib, Treasurer for the Philadelphia Young Republicans, carries backpacks to the Wissahickon Charter School in Tioga-Nicetown

Bryan Leib, Treasurer for the Philadelphia Young Republicans, carries backpacks to the Wissahickon Charter School in Tioga-Nicetown

Angela Gervasi / Billy Penn

Photos: Philadelphia Young Republicans hand out 330 backpacks with school supplies

On Friday, the group traveled to 12 public and charter elementary schools for a giveaway.

Bryan Leib, Treasurer for the Philadelphia Young Republicans, carries backpacks to the Wissahickon Charter School in Tioga-Nicetown

Bryan Leib, Treasurer for the Philadelphia Young Republicans, carries backpacks to the Wissahickon Charter School in Tioga-Nicetown

Angela Gervasi / Billy Penn

Not everything the Philadelphia Young Republicans do is directly related to politics. Like making sure kids have a backpack at the start of the school year.

On Friday, the organization donated 330 backpacks filled with school supplies to 12 elementary schools around the city. Equipped with bright orange, green and blue bookbags, PYR members traveled to public and charter schools in neighborhoods like Olney, Southwark and West Philadelphia.

“There’s no Republican or Democrat or liberal or conservative way to have a school backpack,” said Councilman Al Taubenberger, who accompanied the group to two of the donation locations. “The fact is that you have it — and can use it to go to school.”

The project was started by Philly Young Republicans treasurer Bryan Leib, and funded via private donations made both online and off. Within nine days of launching the campaign — which was originally intended to provide just 35 students with materials — there was enough money to pay for several hundred.

“The colors are great,” said Theresa Knight, a guidance counselor at the Penn Alexander School in West Philly. As the school year begins, counselors will filter the donated materials to students who need them.

The need is great. Many Philadelphia students don’t have enough money to buy proper school supplies.  Last year, Public Citizens for Children and Youth reported that the city’s child poverty rate stood at 38.3 percent in 2015 — around 18 percent higher than the national average that year.

For Tiffany Antes, a guidance counselor who works at Henry Lea Elementary School, the backpack donations can make an impact on the students.

“It helps them be a little more successful here.” Antes said. “They feel like they’re prepared, they’re ready.”

Here are some of the scenes from the supplies giveaway.

Members of the Philadelphia Young Republicans unload donated backpacks. Starting with this school year, the political group hopes to donate school supplies each fall to Philadelphia students.

Members of the Philadelphia Young Republicans unload donated backpacks. The political group hopes to make this an annual donation.

Angela Gervasi / Billy Penn
Laura Wagoner, Finance Director for the Republican Part of Pennsylvania, prepares to deliver donated backpacks to 
the Wissahickon Charter School near Tioga-Nicetown.

Laura Wagoner, Finance Director for the Republican Part of Pennsylvania, prepares to deliver donated backpacks to the Wissahickon Charter School near Tioga-Nicetown.

Angela Gervasi / Billy Penn
City Councilman Al Taubenberger speaks with J. Matthew Wolfe outside Henry Lea Elementary School in West Philadelphia. On Friday, the two delivered donated backpacks to Philadelphia schools. "I think we have to concentrate on our schools because when you walk into a school, what you’re seeing before you is the future," Taubenberger said.

City Councilman Al Taubenberger speaks with J. Matthew Wolfe outside Henry Lea Elementary School in West Philadelphia. On Friday, the two delivered donated backpacks to Philadelphia schools. 'I think we have to concentrate on our schools because when you walk into a school, what you’re seeing before you is the future,' Taubenberger said.

Angela Gervasi / Billy Penn
Members of the Philadelphia Young Republicans carry donated backpacks to Wissahickon Charter School near Tioga-Nicetown.

Members of the Philadelphia Young Republicans carry donated backpacks to Wissahickon Charter School near Tioga-Nicetown.

Angela Gervasi / Billy Penn
The Philadelphia Young Republicans follow Justin Trotman, left, on a tour of the Wissahickon Charter School. Trotman, who works in the school's office, said the donated backpacks "will not go to waste."

The Philadelphia Young Republicans follow Justin Trotman, left, on a tour of the Wissahickon Charter School. Trotman, who works in the school's office, said the donated backpacks 'will not go to waste.'

Angela Gervasi / Billy Penn
Justin Trotman, who works at the Wissahickon Charter School in Tioga-Nicetown, speaks with the Philadelphia Young Republicans about the elementary school students.

Justin Trotman, who works at the Wissahickon Charter School in Tioga-Nicetown, speaks with the Philadelphia Young Republicans about the elementary school students.

Angela Gervasi / Billy Penn
J. Matthew Wolfe, a Philadelphia-based lawyer, wears a pin representing the GOP. About one in seven Philadelphia residents identifies as Republican.

J. Matthew Wolfe, a Philadelphia-based lawyer, wears a pin representing the GOP. About one in seven Philadelphia residents identifies as Republican.

Angela Gervasi / Billy Penn
Bryan Leib (center) hands a stack of backpacks to Theresa Knight, a counselor at the Penn Alexander School in West Philadelphia.

Bryan Leib (center) hands a stack of backpacks to Theresa Knight, a counselor at the Penn Alexander School in West Philadelphia.

Angela Gervasi / Billy Penn
In Philly, about 38 percent of children live below the poverty line, according to a 2015 study by Public Citizens for Children and Youth.

In Philly, about 38 percent of children live below the poverty line, according to a 2015 study by Public Citizens for Children and Youth.

Angela Gervasi / Billy Penn
Donated backpacks sit by the counselor's office at Henry Lea Elementary School in West Philadelphia. Guidance counselors will filter the supplies to students in need.

Donated backpacks sit by the counselor's office at Henry Lea Elementary School in West Philadelphia. Guidance counselors will filter the supplies to students in need.

Angela Gervasi / Billy Penn